As a bicycle enthusiast finding the best bike to suit your needs, in a market bursting with options, can seem, understandably, daunting. It can be hard to know where to start with so many different brands and models to choose from, let alone navigating the technical specs and individual features once you’ve found one you like the look of.
If you have spent any time at all browsing the current bicycle market, then you have probably heard of the brand Raleigh. They’ve been around since 1885 (yes really) and have become increasingly popular in recent years. In this review we are going to be taking a good look at their Raleigh Tokul 2 hardtail bike.
Who Is The Bike Designed For?
The Tokul II hardtail bike is a mountain bike, and like many of the models Raleigh has to offer, it has been designed to suit rough and rocky terrain types.
It’s well-suited to technical trail riding and is appropriate for those just starting out and more intermediate level riders, providing comfort and stability in more challenging terrains.
It comes in a range of sizes to suit any height, from 5’3” all the way up to 6’4” which also means it is a good choice for both men and women.
The saddle and handlebars are also accommodating of both female and male anatomy, making it a comfortable choice regardless.
Powerful Hydraulic Brakes
Perhaps the most important feature of any mountain bike is the brakes. In hilly and more uneven terrain a good braking system is paramount in providing safety, where the need for emergency braking is more likely.
Raleigh as a brand seems to favor hydraulic disc brakes and the Tokul 2 hardtail bike is no exception.
With hydraulic disc brakes as opposed to rim brakes, the Tokul 2 is suited to all weather conditions and provides more easy and consistent braking. This, in turn, allows quicker braking, and consequently more speed between braking. The brake levers are situated right beneath the handlebars for easy access.
For those who don’t know, the drivetrain of a bike is the system used to transfer power from the rider to the drive wheels. As you can imagine, this makes it a pretty important deciding factor when purchasing a bike.
To simplify things drivetrains consist of multiple components including a shifter or shifters, derailleurs, cassette, chain, and cranks.
The Raleigh Tokul’s drivetrain is a Shimano Alivio 1×9 model and pairs well with the specific geometry of this particular bike.
The Tokul II also incorporates Shimano shifters which make for easy, fluid gear changing between the 9 speed gears.
Adapted Tire And Rims
The Raleigh Tokul 2 is first and foremost a mountain bike, and as a result requires suitably adapted wires and rims. This model features 27.5″ Weinmann U28 rims which are nice and wide.
This allows for adequate maneuver across various tricky surfaces such as mud, roots and rocky ground. The rims themselves, whilst wide are also made of lightweight, yet strong alloy meaning they’re prepared to take the rough bumps without weighing you down.
The tires, like the rims, combine width and strength to allow them to withstand rough ground. The treads provide good traction, great for areas of loose ground or muddy, wet days. The rims and tires combine to create a stable and comfortable ride on even the more challenging of conditions.
As with any bike, the Tokul’s individual features and specs are only as good as how they all work together. That is probably most apparent in its suspension and overall shock absorbing components.
The bike possesses a SR Suntour XCM fork which helps smooth the ride over bumps. Combined with the hydraulic brakes and wheel features, the bike is well designed to allow a more comfortable, less-juddery experience for mountain biking.
Aluminium is a widely used material for frames nowadays as it provides strength without being heavy, not to mention it doesn’t rust which prolongs life and lessens upkeep. The Raleigh Tokul 2 has an AL-6061 SL custom-butted aluminium frame weighing 29.7lbs which has all the usual benefits of an aluminium frame.
It also comprises of a shape that allows comfortable, upright posture when riding which lessens strain on the body and allows good visuals on the road ahead.
Range Of Sizes
As we’ve already touched on the Raleigh Tokul 2 comes in a variety of sizes. Riding the wrong sized bike not only makes for a very uncomfortable experience, but means you will struggle to control the bike which can lead to accidents or injuries. For the best control, maneuver and comfort you should always factor in your height when purchasing a bike.
The size options for the Tokul are:
- Small (15 inch) for people 5’3” – 5’6” in height
- Medium (17 inch) for people 5’6” – 5’9” in height
- Large (19 inch) for people 5’9” – 6’ in height
- Extra Large (21 inch) for people 6’ – 6’4” in height
These size options cover a wide range of different heights, making it so there is a comfortable option for most.
The Raleigh comes partially assembled and an assembly guidebook is provided for those who wish to put it together themselves.
However, if you’re lacking experience in constructing bikes, it might be worth getting some help from a friend or professional.
Pros and Cons
- Powerful hydraulic disk brakes provide more easy and consistent braking
- Shimano shifters work effectively with the rest of the drivetrain to allow for smooth and fast gear change
- Suitably wide tires provide ample grip to withstand rough and rocky terrain
- Weinmann U28 wide rims couple with the wide tires to ensure smooth, safe riding on rough ground without damaging the bike
- The aggressive geometry of the bike itself allows for comfortable riding, especially when navigating steep hills
- Light 29.7lb aluminium frame ensures the bike is light whilst maintaining durability
- Range of sizes available allow you to find your perfect fit for a more comfortable ride
- Flat pedals can make it tricky on rough terrain, causing feet to bounce off and sometimes even pedals hitting the shins (however some argue this can be useful in beginners/intermediate riders as it teaches you to use your body and bike more skillfully)
- This model does not include any mounts for drinks bottles on the frame
- Comes only partially assembled
The Raleigh Tokul II hardtail bike is a great all-rounder for beginners and beyond.
If you’re just starting out, or generally looking for something that has you covered on all areas of mountain biking then the Raleigh is a great choice.
It has all the features needed for rough terrain cycling, providing sturdiness, stability, and ease of use and not to mention it’s comfortable too.
It’s low maintenance and a reliable bike that covers all the bases and for a reasonable price.